I love perusing other people’s bookshelves. It’s a great way to get to know a person. Inspired by Patrick Collison, I keep a digital bookshelf for you to peruse, if you’d like.

I always struggle when I’m asked for book recommendations. There are hardly any books that I’d recommend without knowing something about the person reading and what they want to learn. This is not a list of recommendations. It’s a list of the books I own, physically or digitally. I haven’t read all of them. I haven’t finished many of the ones I’ve started. That said, I don’t keep books that I don’t think I’ll either finish reading or read again. So every book on the list is one that I’ve read and enjoyed, or one that I have high hopes for. It’s undoubtedly both incomplete and out of date.

There is no getting around the fact that there is some signaling going on here. Did I buy Democracy in America because I wanted an outsider’s perspective of what it is to be American? Or because I wanted to be a person that had read Democracy in America? Probably both, if I’m honest. I think everyone’s reading choices are at least partially motivated by signaling. If a dude reads Infinite Jest but doesn’t tell anyone about it, has he really read it?

I add books to my reading list at a much greater rate than I actually read, but please email me with recommendations anyway!